Three middle series GM12's (Clyde-GM A7's) at Adelaide's Islington Locomotive works in September1998, with work started on cleaning the exteriors of the two end units.
The one nearest the camera, GM 27, will actually be the second to be reconditioned, and in January 1999 was still externally in the same visible state, although its electrics were well advanced in their rewiring, and its mechanics were also being overhauled. GM22 (at the other end) is having its EMD567C 16-cylinder engine overhauled with new liners, pistons and bearings. This programme has created ongoing work for local tradesmen with skills in the diesel electric locomotive technician and the painter trades.
GNRS no 22, the class leader of the second series of A7s bought by the then Commonwealth Railways, and therefore the class leader of the third classified by C.R. as the GM class, is almost ready for service after rebuild; this unit was photographed at Islington in December 1998.
GM22 was named after the famous Australian cyclist Hubert Opperman, who was the minister of transport in the Australian Federal parliament at the time of the delivery. While all of the Victorian S-class GM locomotives were named after prominent Victorians, the Commonwealth only named the first in each class delivered, which surprisingly did not include the first AL.
The observant will notice that the handrails on the nose are missing; they had been fitted for a photgraphic shoot earlier that day, and were subsequently removed for small adjustments. The Great Northern livery of Hermitage and Royal reds, lined with Chrome Yellow, looks very attractive, particularly with handrails picked out in white.
Thirteen units of this six-motor Clyde-EMD-A7 class have been earmarked by Great Northern, and can run in multiple with most other locomotives around Australia, or even overseas. A four-motor early series GM (Clyde model ML1, serial number 10) has been purchased by Great Northern for shunting duties in Victoria, and is in the refurbishment programme currently.
CLP14 was still undergoing acceptance trials by ASR after a major overhaul by consortium partner Clyde at Port Augusta, as can be seen by the absence of the ASR logos on the side and nose. The colour scheme is an Australian adaption of the classic Genessee and Wyoming locomotive livery, and apart from a few box cars, only locomotives that have been rebuilt and reconditioned by consortium partner Clyde at the Port Augusta workshops carry the new owners' house colours. To date, CLP12, CLP13, CLP14, ALF18 and DA7 have all been restored to reliable running in this way.
Ownership of ex-AN engines operated by ASR were previously incognito, having the AN "snailrail" logos removed when the railway was first purchased.
GM42 (marshalled next to 22) was one of the last series of GMs supplied by Clyde Engineering to the then Commonwealth Railways, ordered with the Leigh Creek to Port Augusta coal haulage in mind. They were classified model A16C, and were fitted with dynamic braking.
701 was the second of an order of six double cab Alcos supplied to the South Australian Railways as part of their purchase associated with the standard gauge project in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Class leader 700 was subsequently renumbered under AN ownership as their vehicle tracking software at that time was unable to cope with a vehicle number being "zero".
This last shot was taken with a "throw-away" panoramic camera (the type that has a plastic lens) and the quality and depth of field is quite surprisingly good, particularly when using edge enhancing software. This print is not retouched.
A privately owned car remanufactured by private operator Bluebird Engineering at their Islington workshops. This was created from an "Overland" sleeping car. Photo taken in December 1998.
Bluebird engineering is the engineering wing of Bluebird Rail Systems, a private tour train operator who introduced and operates the well patronised three-car refurbished Bluebird trains between Adelaide and the Barossa Valley several days each week.
To the left of the private car can be seen an operational Bluebird set.
Here we see two ex-NSW railways class 442 locomotives, converted to DOO (Driver Only Operation) and then repainted by Bluebird Engineering for their new owners, Silverton Transport Industries, photographed outside the southern entrance to the Islington paintshop in September 1998.
A Bluebird railcar is seen here undergoing complete refurbishment in November 1998. This vehicle will end up in Victoria on lease to the operator of the privatised passenger service from Melbourne to Gippsland.
Bluebird Engineering are also modifying and painting various freight vans and flat tops for several private freight forward companies, some of which rely upon Australia Southern Railroad for their line haul and hook-and-pull requirements. The need has arisen through the non-availability of any ex-AN wagons through theiur having been nominated by National Rail on AN's collapse. Reconditioning to new standards is therefore an ongoing need for private freight forwarders, who then negotiate "hook and pull" contracts with the freight operator (ASR) who bought the remains of AN's freight business.
a (then) Western Australian Government Railways publicity photograph of the Indian Pacific specially posed in the Avon Valley in the late 1970s, standing on dual gauge track between the Swan River wineries and Windmill Hill.
The Avon Valley line is dual gauge dual track, each road signalled for bidirectional working. Both photographs are ©Westrail, around 1980.
Some previously unpublished photos of the arrival of the inaugural "Indian Pacific" at Perth in 1970 will be placed on this site shortly.
This author never actually saw any Western Australian Standard Gauge passenger trains carrying a headboard - except for the inaugural "Indian Pacific" - although this was standard practice on their Narrow-Gauge passenger trains of that era.
The inaugural "Indian Pacific" arrived in Perth in 1970 with a magnificent headboard, though, and all "Indians" had an illuminated tailboard in the form of a light box which was permanently attached to the outside end of the HM mail vans and the HGM generator (power) vans - both ends of the consist.
The worsening "hole" in the track just south of the crossing is very noticeable from the leaning of the carriages at that point.
Photographed in December 1998.
This photograph shows the almost country look of the tree surrounded three road passenger terminal connected to the single track main line by a single approach road at both ends.
To the right, behind the trees to the rear of the locomotive, is the carriage servicing facilities operated by Goninan, a partner in GSR operations.
Because the train reverses in the station on its way out to Perth, a newly fuelled engine facing the right way couples to what was previously the rear of the train for the rest of the journey, releasing the engine which brought the train in to go for service and provisioning.
A QANTAS flight service truck at Keswick passenger terminal in August 1998.
QANTAS (the Australian overseas and domestic airline) is contracted to Great Southern Railway to supply partly prepared food for service in the cafeteria car on the Indian Pacific and Ghan trains.
They also prepare the first meal served on board, ready to be cooked by the on-train galley crew.
The train crews on the "Indian Pacific" change at Adelaide on its arrival. Photo September 1998.
In the next frame, we have an opportunity for an unique photograph that is unlikely to ever be repeated - at least one hopes that it won't:
Here we see the unusual sight of Sydney water being pumped out of the Indian Pacific's belly tanks, to be replaced with Adelaide water for the rest of the journey to Perth!
This was due to Sydney's water supply pollution problems in September 1998.
The reason for this exercise is that to "provision" a locomotive at the Motive Power Depot at Dry Creek since the closure and removal of the Mile End locomotive serviceing facilities would require a twenty mile round trip for this purpose, with the cab at the wrong end of the locomotive in both directions, plus the problems associated with obtaining a path on the single track main line. Since privatisation, this would also incur an additional financial cost.
On another occasion, also with the Indian Pacific, with its generator van at the southern end of the train. The engine has cut off and gone for serviceing.
The refuelling hose here has actually been dragged across the southern end of the passenger platform, then through the generator van's doors and down to the trackside.
The entire Keswick complex up to the entrance switches at Mile End Junction in the north, and Keswick Junction in the south, is controlled by Great Southern Railway.
The Overland rolling-stock was previously jointly owned with Victoria; the original legend identified the cars as being "V & SAR", which was altered in about 1978 to "V & ANR" but subsequent changes to the corporate names of AN and V/Line did not reach the carriage sides.
Newly refurbished "Overland" stock, delivered to Adelaide from Port Augusta workshops in February 1999, has a different livery, to be shown on this site shortly. Five units have so far been overhauled. These carriages will eventually make up a complete consist, which will free up other less serviceable units for refurbishing.
This was the last class of locomotive built to the order of Australian National, and the entire class was nominated by National Rail Corporation for transfer to them from Australian National ownership, along withn all of the DL class effective 1st November 1997, succesfully preventing the privatised owners from initially being able to operate reliable locomotives. This is a story in itself.
First of all, a slide from the sixties which I purchased from Commonwealth Railways in 1971, showing the class leader of the ML1 class of locomotive, GM1, in its original livery.
This engine was repainted with "Australian National Railways" in silver on its sides in 1977 and a slide made available as a souvenir.
Then resplendant in corporate green and gold in the early 1980s, a further "official" photograph was available.
It would appear from comparing GM1 as it is now painted, with memory and colour photos from yester year that in the repaint the maroon colour is slightly too dark.
Australian National does still exist, in a small office somewhere, and completely inaccessible to the public, so I have published this slide in good faith without being able to obtain copyright permission.
One of the three Budd Company imports of the 1950s, a CB unit which had been run on the ill-fated "Iron Triangle" passenger train, rests in the late 1980s in the sidings at Keswick with no work to do.
Bluebird Engineering are currently restoring CB2 for Standard Gauge operation, and have an unknown canibalised unit as spares. The third has long since gone to the graveyard.
Work is in progress on the conversion of the first B-class to an A-class by Clyde Engineering at Adelaide's Rosewater on an unrecorded date in the 1980s. Even before AN took delivery of the last of the BL class of locomotives in about 1984, Clyde's Rosewater facility was put to work converting the famous Victorian locos to take the 12-cylinder 645F engine with modern control equipment.
A noticeable difference between the S class, and the ex-Commonwealth GM12 class, is the absence in the latter of the air intake along the whole of the upper carbody as can be seen here. The reason is that the GM was fully pressurised internally to combat the dust encountered en route from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie.
In September 1998 four recently arrived DLs which were no longer required by NRC were seen having been shunted into Islington yard for storage.
Three of them are in this siding, and all these units had been run by NRC until major examinations were required.
Islington is owned by ASR, who have been unable to make use of these more recent locomotives despite the unreliability of the motive power they inherited when they purchased what was left of AN. In January 1999 they and all of the NRC owned ex-VR/V-Line C Class EMD GT26Cs were still there.
It possibly appeared years ago in an issue of the joint ARHS/PDRM magazine "Catchpoint", or perhaps it was in an earlier ARHS publication entitled "The Recorder".
Here is a map showing the environs of the Keswick Rail Passenger Terminal, to the western side of the city of Adelaide, South Australia's capital.
This was originally called the Adelaide Rail Passenger terminal when it first opened in 1984. The terminal was constructed in an attempt to decentralise on to land owned by ANR as opposed to remaining in the Adelaide station which was state owned; there was therefore quite probably a political agenda for that reason.
The image is scanned from a portion of a map obtained at an "Ampol" petrol station.